"In the Blood" is Andrew Motion's beautifully written memoir of growing up in post-war England - an unforgettable evocation of family life, school life and country life. It also tells the story of how these worlds are shattered, when his mother suffers a terrible riding accident. The tragedy shadows the book, feeding its mood of elegy as well as its celebratory vigilance. Written from a teenage child's point of view, without the benefit of adult hindsight, Motion captures the pathos and puzzlement of childhood with great clarity of expression and freshness of memory. We encounter a strange but beguiling extended family, a profound love of the natural world, a troubled schooling, and a growing passion for books and writing. By turns funny and elegiac, "In the Blood" is a wonderful picture of a vanishing England, a remarkable insight into a poet's mind, and a deeply moving portrait of the bond between a mother and her son.